Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning: Current Knowledge and Future Challenges

  title={Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning: Current Knowledge and Future Challenges},
  author={Michel Loreau and Shahid Naeem and Pablo Inchausti and Jan Bengtsson and John Philip Grime and Andy Hector and David U Hooper and Michael A. Huston and David G. Raffaelli and Bernhard Schmid and David Tilman and David A. Wardle},
  pages={804 - 808}
The ecological consequences of biodiversity loss have aroused considerable interest and controversy during the past decade. Major advances have been made in describing the relationship between species diversity and ecosystem processes, in identifying functionally important species, and in revealing underlying mechanisms. There is, however, uncertainty as to how results obtained in recent experiments scale up to landscape and regional levels and generalize across ecosystem types and processes… 
Biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in naturally assembled communities
  • F. van der Plas
  • Environmental Science
    Biological reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
  • 2019
An increasing number of studies have investigated BEF relationships in non‐manipulated ecosystems, but reviews synthesizing the knowledge on the importance of real‐world biodiversity are still largely missing.
The Role of Biodiversity
These findings are already powerful arguments for the conservation of biodiversity, though current research aims to increase their relevance to the real world by including a more extensive range of ecosystems and processes, realistic food web structures, realistic (nonrandom) extinction scenarios and larger spatial scales.
Food-web constraints on biodiversity–ecosystem functioning relationships
  • É. Thébault, M. Loreau
  • Environmental Science
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
  • 2003
It is shown that plant biomass does not always increase with plant diversity and that changes in biodiversity can lead to complex if predictable changes in ecosystem processes, and that food-web structure can profoundly influence ecosystem properties.
Biodiversity and aquatic ecosystem functioning: A mini-review
Ecosystem functioning depends on multiple interactions among physical, chemical and biological factors. Indeed, ecosystem processes (e.g., productivity and nutrient recycling) result directly from
Revisiting spatial scale in the productivity–species richness relationship: fundamental issues and global change implications
It is shown that the roles played by different ecological and evolutionary factors in shaping plant diversity change across the world's ecoregions, and—critically—that these differences scale with e coregion size.
Impacts of Biodiversity Loss on Ocean Ecosystem Services
Human-dominated marine ecosystems are experiencing accelerating loss of populations and species, with largely unknown consequences. We analyzed local experiments, long-term regional time series, and
A multitrophic perspective on biodiversity-ecosystem functioning research.
Biodiversity in a complex world: consolidation and progress in functional biodiversity research.
It is argued that implementing a trait-based approach and broadening the perception of diversity to include trait dissimilarity or trait divergence will result in more realistic predictions on the consequences of altered biodiversity.


Declining biodiversity can alter the performance of ecosystems
COMMUNITIES of species and their associated biological, chemical and physical processes, collectively known as ecosystems, drive the Earth's biogeochemical processes1,2. Currently most ecosystems are
Biodiversity and ecosystem functioning: recent theoretical advances
Recent theoretical developments in the area of biodiversity and ecosystem functioning suggest that linking community and ecosystem ecology is a fruitful avenue, which paves the way for a new ecological synthesis.
Biodiversity and ecosystem functioning: a mechanistic model.
  • M. Loreau
  • Environmental Science
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
  • 1998
A mechanistic model of a spatially structured ecosystem in which plants compete for a limiting soil nutrient shows that plant species richness does not necessarily enhance ecosystem processes, but it identifies two types of factors that could generate such an effect: complementarity among species in the space they occupy below ground and positive correlation between mean resource-use intensity and diversity.
Biodiversity regulates ecosystem predictability
By manipulating biodiversity in aquatic microbial communities, it is shown that one process, ecosystem respiration, becomes more predictable as biodiversity increases, and analysis of similar patterns extracted from other studies indicates that biodiversity also enhances predictability in terrestrial ecosystems.
Consequences of changing biodiversity
The large ecological and societal consequences of changing biodiversity should be minimized to preserve options for future solutions to global environmental problems.
Consistent patterns and the idiosyncratic effects of biodiversity in marine ecosystems
Variable diversity effects for species representative of marine coastal systems at both global and regional scales are demonstrated and evidence for an increase in complementary resource use as diversity increases and strong evidence for diversity effects in naturally assembled communities at a regional scale is shown.
The Influence of Functional Diversity and Composition on Ecosystem Processes
Functional composition and functional diversity were the principal factors explaining plant productivity, plant percent nitrogen, plant total nitrogen, and light penetration in grassland plots.
Plant diversity and ecosystem productivity: theoretical considerations.
Three simple models of interspecific competitive interactions in communities containing various numbers of randomly chosen species predict that, on average, productivity increases asymptotically with the original biodiversity of a community and show that both species identity and biodiversity simultaneously influence ecosystem functioning.
Biodiversity may regulate the temporal variability of ecological systems
It is concluded that evidence to support the claim that biodiversity regulates temporal variability is accumulating, but not unequivocal, and more research is needed before definitive statements regarding richness-variability relationships are made.
Functional diversity governs ecosystem response to nutrient enrichment
A model of intermediate complexity is developed, which separates trophic levels into functional groups according to size and diet, and shows the importance of functional diversity and indirect interactions in the response of ecosystems to perturbations.